Monday, February 26, 2018

Good News Monday, Martinson's Coaching Record, Remaining Schedule, Shooting Percentages, Reliving the 2013 Championship & Best Road Teams in ECHL History

I want to start this morning by thanking all of you, the regular readers of the blog, who continue to stop by each day even though it hasn't been a happy place lately. This hit home to me yesterday when my lovely wife (aka Nancy), who if you are a regular reader of the blog are aware she has tried to do away with me in the past, declared she was no longer going to proofread the blog each morning. When I inquired why she said, "It is so depressing to read recently and I don't need to start my day that way."

- So to placate the lovely wife (and proofreader) and give you a respite from what has been some dour blog posts I thought today's blog should be free of negative stats that show why the team has been struggling and focus on other news. Here goes.

- The NHL trade deadline is this afternoon and with the trickle down effect when NHL teams gain and lose players, this can have an impact on AHL and ECHL affiliates. Yesterday the San Jose Sharks traded goalie Troy Grosenick and forward Brandon Bollig to the Nashville Predators for a sixth round draft pick in the 2018 draft. Both players were playing with the Barracuda this season. There will be a lot of player movement between today and the ECHL trade deadline which is March 8. Whether the San Jose organization ends up with more players or fewer players remains to be seen which in turn could impact the Allen Americans roster.

- Steve Martinson is in his 22nd year as a head coach and most everyone knows he has won 10 championships in those 22 years. Not as well known is the fact that he has missed the playoffs only one time in 22 years. In 2011-12 Martinson was the coach of a new ECHL franchise, the Chicago Express. They lasted just one season and didn't make the playoffs. When I first interviewed him I asked coach Martinson about that season and he told me, "Even though that Chicago team lost seven players to the AHL, had seven season ending injuries and unbeknownst to me the team was folding it was tough missing the playoffs." My point being is there is nobody grinding harder to get this team to the playoffs than the coach.

- David Makowski leads the ECHL or is tied for the lead among all defensemen in points (45), assists (35), power play assists (17), shots (188) and points per game (.94). Joel Chouinard is tied for the lead in power play points (21).

- Allen's schedule the rest of the season is quite favorable. They have 17 games remaining and 10 of them are at home. All but two games are against Mountain Division teams. The Americans have a tough six game road trip between March 7-18 where they travel to Idaho, Utah (2 games), Rapid City and Colorado (2 games). That road trip will be both a challenge and an opportunity.

- When Allen returns home on March 19 from the six game road trip they will play eight of their last nine games at home. The only road game is to Wichita.

- The average shooting percentage among NHL forwards is around 11% and anything above 14% is considered excellent. Here are the four Allen players with shooting percentages at 14% or above.

21.3%  -  Olivier Archambault
17.1%  -  Alex Guptill
14.3%  -  Zach Pochiro
14.0%  -  Casey Pierro-Zabotel

-  How important can just one player be to the success of the team? Olivier Archambault has played in 19 games for Allen this season. In the 14 games when he had a point Allen's record was 8-4-2-0. In the five games he didn't have a point their record was 1-4-0-0.

-  I am going to have to stretch to turn this into good news but I will give it a try. On the way back to Allen Saturday night after losing two games to Kansas City the Americans got a wake up call. Something hit the windshield and shattered it. The good news is nobody was injured and it was on the right side so they were able to continue on to Allen. Tommy Daniels was in front of the windshield when this happened. It is uncertain what caused the damage but there was some thought it was a bird.


- Tried to think of the best video from the past for this no bad news day and decided on the end of the greatest game in team history for my money. It was overtime in game seven of the 2013 CHL championship against the Wichita Thunder. If you were at that game you can still get the feeling just from watching this video. Todd Robinson got all of the glory but I always like to point out the great stretch pass from defenseman Mike Montgomery that set up that play. Mike retired after that season even though he had only played three years of pro hockey. And he retired with quite the trifecta of hockey championships. He won the prestigious Minnesota High School championship scoring the lone goal in the championship game. Mike went on to win the NCAA championship as the captain at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. He added a professional championship with Allen and then called it a career. If you want to read about a class guy who had a great story check out this one about Mike from 2012.

The playoff MVP in that first championship season was another Minnesotan, Brian McMillin. It just so happens today is Brian's 30th birthday so happy birthday to him.

Happy 30th birthday to 2013 Playoff MVP Brian McMillin

Here is the video of the conclusion of the greatest game in Allen Americans history:

DID YOU KNOW: The Allen Americans have always been a great road team. In their first three seasons in the ECHL the Americans road record was 67-30-10. That is the highest winning percentage of any team in ECHL history which includes about 80 different teams. Here are the top five with their road record in parentheses.

.667    Allen Americans (67-30-10)
.600    Idaho Steelheads (275-174-55)
.595    Florida Everblades (372-243-66)
.575    Fort Wayne Komets (94-67-19)
.570    Peoria Rivermen (162-122-31) 


  1. Much love and thanks to Nancy for all of her work on the blog!

  2. Thank you (and Nancy!) so much for that! A much need reprieve from the recent grind. We are optimistic for a great finish. :)